Your Ultimate Guide to the Brussels Griffon

brussels griffon dog sitting in a grassy field

How to Care for a Brussels Griffon Puppy

If you’ve seen an adorable, small dog that resembles the look of Ewok characters from Star Wars, it was likely a Brussels Griffon puppy. These dogs have a flat face, a large set of eyes, and a prominent chin that reflect some of the characteristics of Ewok characters. These dogs are so popular because of their cute and cuddly look and their outstanding personalities.

The Brussels Griffon puppy was born in Belgium and is known to be a street dog that was quite unusually free-spirited. Thanks to their intelligence and personalities, the Brussels Griffon puppy is an excellent pet for novice owners. Brussels Griffon puppies aren’t afraid to show their owners their sense of humor.

Brussels Griffon puppies are small dogs and have the potential to live happily in an apartment, but these small pups are watchdogs at heart and have a tendency to bark anytime they hear a noise.

Although the Brussels Griffon puppy is a small dog, they have the energy of a much larger dog. The Brussels Griffon is a great first dog, but if you’re looking for a docile lapdog to follow you around all day, these dogs might not be the right fit for you.

Brussels Griffon puppies would thrive in a place they are encouraged to explore and be their goofy little selves.

Brussels Griffon History

Some Brussels Griffon fans refer to this breed as ‘Griffons.’ Brussels Griffons originated in Belgium, where they were bred, by farmers, between different breeds of hunting dogs. The Brussels Griffon puppy kept the barn and stables free of small rodents such as rats or mice. Eventually, these dogs became much more popular as family pets rather than farmworkers, although they can still do both.

The Brussels Griffon Puppy Size

These petite pups can grow to stand anywhere from 7 to 8 inches tall at their shoulders, and they typically weigh between 7 and 12 pounds. However, these sizes are guidelines, and you might find a Brussels Griffon that is larger or smaller than these stats.

Even though they’re small, a Brussels Griffon puppy is a very sturdy dog, and they are surprisingly athletic and heavy. Many of these dogs compete in obedience and agility sports and other performance competitions.

brussels griffon running through the grass

The Brussels Griffon Temperament

Brussels Griffon puppies can be great companions to the right person. They are curious and cheerful and often very affectionate dogs. Although the Brussels Griffon puppy can become a bit headstrong and moody, they’re pretty sensitive and can be more than a little demanding for their owner’s undivided attention.

All well-socialized dogs will get along well with other animals. Typically, Brussels Griffon puppies can get along with other dogs and cats as long as they are supervised by their owners and given positive and encouraging environments.

These dogs can be very affectionate and bond closely with one special person they follow everywhere.

While it’s undeniable that these dogs are adorable and spunky, that doesn’t mean they’re a good fit for just anyone. Brussels Griffon puppies will need owners willing to dedicate a lot of their time to their dogs. Single-family homes or empty-nesters are often great places for Brussels Griffon puppies.

Brussels Griffon Breed Intelligence

Many dogs are naturally intuitive because of their years working for people in the past. Brussels Griffon dogs used to hunt small animals and therefore have excellent natural agility. They are also brilliant and independent thinkers, qualities that can be both good and bad.

Because of their natural independence, they might be a little hard-headed and stubborn, but owners need to remember to stay patient, calm, and consistent, and they can train their puppy to be a great dog.

This is why they need owners dedicated to providing training sessions and obedience lessons. These dogs need constant positive reinforcement to get them to cooperate.

Brussels Griffon Shedding

This breed doesn’t shed very much, although they are not hypoallergenic. Depending on your Brussels Griffon coat type, they may have heavier shedding periods.

Smooth-coated Brussels Griffon puppies have softer coats that will shed twice a year heavily. This will come around significant weather changes, such as spring and fall. But, wire-coated Brussels Griffon puppies are much more allergy-friendly and shed less, and carry less dandruff overall.

Dog allergies are ignited by saliva, dandruff, dead hair, and other small things that every dog has, even very hypoallergenic ones. Hypoallergenic dogs release less of the allergy-producing materials.

brussels griffon sitting in front of a blue background

Brussels Griffon Health Overview

Brussels Griffon dogs can live anywhere from 12 to 15 years. This breed is typically healthy, and many of these dogs will live long lives and never experience any health conditions. Many dogs that do experience health conditions have mild conditions only.

While it’s reassuring most dogs don’t suffer from any health issues, it can trouble a few owners to know that every dog will experience stress and anxiety at some point. Owners can best help their dogs with anxiety by knowing the signs and the ways they can help.

Common Psychological Health Conditions in the Brussels Griffon


All dogs will experience stress at some point in their lives, although shelter animals and smaller dogs are more likely to experience stress. Owners shouldn’t fear their Brussels Griffon puppy getting stressed, as it’s a natural response to the world around us. But this psychological condition can become serious if your Brussels Griffon puppy seemingly struggles with stress daily.

Brussels Griffons may get stressed out for a variety of reasons. These dogs might get stressed near loud noises, busy crowds, or other animals. They might experience stress when they’re reminded of something that happened to them in the past. Dogs that experience trauma like abuse, neglect, abandonment, or homelessness are more likely to have stress reactions to anything that reminds them of this previous treatment.

While it is sad that Brussels Griffon dogs can feel so much stress, owners can easily help their dogs by understanding the signs they will show when they feel stressed.

Many dogs will show their angst in body language by hiding their tail between their legs, hiding behind their owners, or trying to escape the scene that is stressing them out. Some dogs will bark, cry, whine, or drool. Smaller dogs commonly bark and pace when they are anxious.

Dogs have different reactions to stress based on the various histories of their lives. The key to helping relieve your dog’s stress is finding out what causes it. Removing this situation from their lives, or providing them calming supplements when they have to be in that situation, can help them overcome their condition.

brussels griffon puppy laying in a basket


The Brussels Griffon puppy is a high-energy dog and might experience anxiety any days they don’t get enough activity. Many smaller dogs were bred to be companion pets, and while the Brussels Griffon puppy was bred to hunt, they also became great family pets over time. These dogs need people that can spend a lot of time with them, which is why they can suffer from separation anxiety.

Many dogs experience high levels of anxiety in their owner’s absence and might show their panic by destroying the house. Often when dogs do this, they have panic attacks when left alone. Anxious dogs may also whine, bark, drool, pace, or become aggressive when their owner tries to leave.

If your Brussels Griffon is suffering from anxiety, it’s essential to know why. If they aren’t getting enough daily activity, it’s crucial to provide more activity, and if your Brussels Griffon puppy is anxious in your absence, consider getting them dog CBD or calming treats. Owners can go the extra mile and ask their vets to prescribe their dog anti-anxiety medication, but vets reserve this for more severe cases of anxiety.

Useful Calming Dog Products

The best way to help anxious dogs is to have a plan when you start to notice their symptoms. Many dog owners have taken the initiative to create a ‘safe space’ for their pets to go when they get stressed out.

These spaces often provide places to rest, like calming dog beds and even water bowls. Owners can add blankets and pillows to provide the ultimate comfort for their nervous pets. It’s important to make sure to set this area up away from a lot of foot traffic or anywhere noisy. Sometimes owners go out of their way to even provide their dog calming treats before they leave the house to anticipate their dog’s symptoms.

Common Physical Health Conditions

While the Brussels Griffon is overall healthy, this breed, like any other, has a predisposed risk of experiencing a few particular health conditions.

Smaller dogs tend to suffer from dental and optic issues more often than larger dogs, and the Brussels Griffon also faces these issues. These dogs can commonly get diagnosed with eye problems or joint issues. They are typically very mild and can be treated at home with a few supplements, no matter the condition.

brussels griffon standing in the grass

Hip Dysplasia

Brussels Griffons are genetically predisposed to developing hip dysplasia. Many dogs are born with hip dysplasia and can go their whole lives without ever experiencing symptoms. Often, dogs with hip dysplasia will begin to experience arthritis later in life. Typically, arthritis leads to some pain symptoms and a gradual loss of motion.

Most often, animals with hip dysplasia can be treated with supplements or at-home stretches. Owners can learn physical therapy stretches for their dog’s hip joints so they can run the joints through its regular motion without adding pressure or weight. Many people choose to give their dogs joint supplements and anti-inflammation medication to help their pets with their pain symptoms.

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Patellar Luxation

Patellar luxation is the official veterinarian term for a dislocated kneecap. Small breed dogs, especially toy-sized dogs, suffer from patellar luxation.

This physical health issue can cause a dog to experience lameness in its legs or get them to adopt a weird walk. Many dogs are born with this and don’t face the side effect until they are much older and have developed arthritis. This degenerative knee disease has four different levels of severity, although most cases of patellar luxation stay in stage one, the least threatening stage.

Brussels Griffon dogs can find relief in some joint supplements or anti-inflammatory medication. Many owners have used dog CBD to aid their dog’s pain symptoms as well.

Eye Problems

This breed commonly suffers from mild eye conditions that can cause damage to their eyesight or cause incredible discomfort. More severe versions of eye health conditions require a permanent procedure, but common conditions are mild and can be dealt with at home.

For example, Brussels Griffon puppies often have eye tear stains that can be cleaned away gently. These dogs may also have a condition where they grow extra eyelashes that rub against their eyes. Brussels Griffon puppies also often scratch their eyes and cause them to get infections.

These conditions can be treated with ointment application. Owners can regularly clean their dog’s eyes and apply ointment to help ensure they don’t get irritated and remain clean.

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 Eye Health Supplements We Love

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Brussels Griffon Oral Health

Dental disease affects many dogs in the United States. Dogs regularly experience bleeding, swollen, red gums, and have tartar stained on their teeth. This is a common sign of gingivitis, a very mild condition, but it is the first step of dental disease. While this isn’t great, it means that a dog’s oral health is pretty resilient.

This condition doesn’t have to become a severe condition, but it can cause a dog to lose their teeth or contract some digestive tract issues or heart disease. However, if you want to avoid the risk of your dog losing its teeth or experiencing pain when eating, it’s important to brush its teeth. The bacteria and tartar build-up in the teeth can worsen issues throughout the dog’s body and overall health.

Smaller dogs suffer from teeth overcrowding a lot and need brushing sessions more often because of the bacteria that gets trapped. When tartar and bacteria build up, it can lead to other issues like intestinal infections or heart disease.

Owners can care for their pet’s oral health by ensuring they brush their dog’s teeth correctly and with dog-specific toothpaste. Some owners find it easier to provide dental cleaning treats to their dogs daily rather than brush their teeth daily, and while dental treats help, nothing can replace the real deal.

Many animals learn to enjoy brushing sessions more, especially when they happen regularly. If you don’t think you can brush a Brussels Griffon puppy’s teeth, you can always take your pup to the doggy dentist.

Oral Health Options We Love

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Brussels Griffon Needs


The Brussels Griffon puppy makes an excellent apartment dog because of how small and active they are in the house. Even though they are tiny, they still need at least thirty minutes of solid physical activity every day to stay healthy. Short games of catch, fetch, or tag can help these small dogs reach their daily goal. But physical exercise isn’t the only type of workout they need.

While it doesn’t seem like it, dogs need a lot of mental stimulation to stay healthy. After all, if you don’t want a depressed dog, mental stimulation is your key to happiness.

When dogs go hunting for a scent outside, that is mental stimulation. Since the Brussels Griffon used to be a hunting dog, their owner could always hide some of their dog’s treats around the house to provide that mental activity.

However, there are many different ways to provide your dog with enrichment. The best way to give your dog activity and stimulation is to partake in an activity you find fun. If you enjoy doing this thing, it will make it easier to provide it to your dog daily.

brussels griffon in an orange sweater


 Exercise Toys We Love

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Brussels Griffon dogs don’t require much food because of their small size, and these dogs only need between a quarter and a half cup of food a day. A dog’s diet can vary significantly based on age, sex, activity level, and other health conditions.

The quality of your dog’s food can also play a role in determining how much they’ll need daily. High-quality dog food will fulfill more nutritional requirements than low-quality food in fewer quantities. Dogs that eat lower-quality food might have to eat a little extra to make sure they’re getting the right vitamins and nutrients.

These dogs might need less food the older they get. Typically, older dogs are less active. Hence, fewer calories are needed. If you are adopting a Brussels Griffon puppy, you’ll need to purchase special puppy food to support their growing bodies.

You can work with your vet to decide the appropriate amount of daily calories for your dog, and you should remember to include treats in their daily calorie count.

Because Brussels Griffon puppies are such small animals, it can be easy for them to become obese without their owners noticing. Owners can always check their dog’s overall health by taking a visual profile of their pet.

If you look directly down at your Brussels Griffon puppy, you should be able to see a slight curve at their waistline, but if the curve is not present or too exaggerated, it can be an indicator your dog is unhealthy.

Another way to examine your Brussels Griffon puppy is to put your hand onto their side and press your fingers until you feel their ribs. If you have to put more than a little bit of pressure on your dog’s side, then your dog is obese. If you don’t need to put any pressure on your dog’s side, or you can visibly see their ribs, your pet might be underweight or malnourished.

Owners should always check in with their vet if they’re anxious their dog isn’t at the proper weight. Vets can offer more detailed insight on the best way to help a Brussels Griffon puppy lose or gain weight.

Dog Foods We Love Based On Age

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Brussels Griffon puppies have different grooming needs depending on their coat type. This breed is also unique because it has two different kinds of coats; a rough-coated griffon and a smooth-coated griffon.

A rough-coated Brussels Griffon needs to be hand stripped twice a year to remove any dead hairs from its coat. Rough-coated Brussels Griffon should also be brushed with a natural bristle brush or hand glove twice a week. It’s important only to use wire-coated dog fur tools, or you risk ruining their coat. Only bathe wire-coated Brussels Griffons every few months unless they get especially dirty.

Compared to rough-coated Brussels Griffons, smooth-coated Brussels Griffons need very little grooming. Smooth-coated Brussels Griffon puppies benefit from weekly brushing sessions and an occasional bath. There are many different types of brushes owners can get to groom their smooth-coated Brussels Griffon. Owners should wait anywhere from five to eight weeks to bathe their dog and never use any products that aren’t made specifically for canines.

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Top Product Picks for the Brussels Griffon Puppy Breed

When potential owners decide on the dog they want to adopt, it’s exhilarating to take that pup home. But what some owners forget is that they should prep for their dogs before they bring them home.

New dog owners should make sure to pick up a few necessities for owning a dog, like a food bowl, water bowl, and dog food. It would also help to get some treats while you’re getting the food because you’ll want to start training your new dog as soon as possible. Also, giving your newly adopted dog tons of treats on the first day isn’t the worst way to spend your time together.

It can help to buy a food storage bin, dog cage, and a dog bed. Dog cages are especially useful when bringing a new pet home in case they aren’t house-trained. Buying them a bed can help them feel like they have their own space at your home, giving them a comfortable place to relax.

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Of course, Brussels Griffon puppy owners should make sure to buy a collar and leash before picking their pup up, but they might want to wait to purchase a tag or harness until after they have their newest pet. Smaller dogs like the Brussels Griffon puppy definitely benefit from harnesses that fit properly because these dogs often have weaker tracheas. If they pull on a leash too hard in a collar, they might injure themselves.

Harnesses We Love

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The bottom line is it’s super exciting to adopt a new dog, especially when you are so sure they’re the right fit for you. Preparing your house with dog parent essentials is just another fun way to get that excitement out.

American Brussels Griffon Association

National Brussels Griffon Club

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